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News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories with a focus on global news, trends and destinations.

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Us 21, Hattiesburg 19, Mississippi 9, Southern California 7, Southern Mississippi 7, Lapd 6, Mexico 5, Los Angeles 5, Brianna 4, Christopher Dorner 3, Alabama 3, John 3, George W. Bush 2, Tom Dietz 2, Cnn 2, Fbi 2, Chad 2, Grammys 2, India 2, Georgia 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations.  

    February 11, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00am PST  

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more fire power there's a dramatic reduction in violent crimes. >> here is the question. do you know the two countries which have the highest per capita rate of firearms per civilian? >> american and switzerland. >> the second one after america, the yemen. are you seriously telling me that yemen is one of the safest places. when you say this kind of bull people believe it. >> are you prepared to admit your dream of a gun free zone in mexico is working or chicago is working? >> let me give you some countries. australia, britain, japan, canada. >> they don't have a second amendment. >> your second amendment doesn't entitle you to have an armored
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tank outside. >> are you sure of that? >> i wouldn't want you in a tank. we're not talking about bringing in gun control. we're talking about extending it. >> what makes you think the 51st law will stop this slaughter. i don't believe it will not. i believe an armed society is a polite society. >> i respect your opinion and respect you coming down to talk to me. back at you. you are in the "cnn newsroom." i'm brianna keilar in for don lemon. powerful, devastating weather in the southern states, that's our breaking news tonight.
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this is new video that's just in to cnn. it was recorded by a storm chaser in hattiesburg, mississippi, late this afternoon. when an enormous tornado touched the ground and started tearing up the town. we have extensive damage to show you tonight. there are some people hurt and i will talk with the man who shot this amazing video footage in just a few minutes. but first this breaking news to tell you about. thousands of people are stranded after a cruise ship lost power in the gulf of mexico. an engine fire left the carnival triumph ship without electricity but we hear that it is now operating on emergency generator power. more than 4,000 people are on board the ship. the fire has reportedly been put out and the ship is to be towed to the closest port which in mexico. carnival says another of its vessels is on the scene bringing food and drinks to the stranded ship. and in southern california -- >> collectively, this group that by my office is posting a reward
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of $1 million for information that will lead to mr. dorner's capture. >> the city of los angeles offering a hefty reward after days of fruitless searching in the san bernardino mountains for a rogue excop. christopher dorner allegedly killed three people before disappearing. every lapd officer is a potential target in his self-declared vendetta against the police force. 50 officer and their families are getting around the clock protection until donor is caught. even tonight's grammys had extra security just in case. and 30 people have been crushed to death in a stampede in india. officials say people were crowding a rail station during one of the biggest religious festivals of the year. the stampede happened after someone fell from a platform bridge in ala habad. a lot of people in the new
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england blizzard zone spent their day doing just this, getting ready for tomorrow's commute. more than 300,000 homes still without electricity right now. cleanup crews from pennsylvania to maine are working overtime to clear highways and city streets by the morning rush hour. tonight, though, we're tracking a weather emergency and a large swath of the south is in a danger zone. >> yeah! oh, my god, i've never seen a tornado before in my life. >> this is hattiesburg, mississippi. it was about 5:00 this evening. i think that's actually 5:00 central, 6:00 eastern if i'm right. a massive swirling tornado suddenly struck the town and the campus of the university of southern mississippi. there were cars flipped over, building heavily damaged but by amazing coincidence, the campus is virtually desserted this weekend. it is a long school holiday weekend. still, at least three people were injured.
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>> the power is about to go out. >> the people of hattiesburg who rode out the storm says the city was suddenly a flurry of debris, uprooted trees, emergency sirens and then darkness as power lines fell. power lines down as we said, cars strewn in the middle of the street. debris everywhere. that's what this storm chaser has seen in hattiesburg. he's joning us on the telephone. john, i am here as well with our meteorologist chad myers. tell us what you saw. >> good evening, breanna. i originally picked up the tornado as it met out of marion county, mississippi. there was an initial report that came out of their emergency management that the tornado had struck several homes and people. from there i was able to pick it up about ten miles to the west of hattiesburg and tracked it into town. the tornado itself on the west side of the interstate was indeed larger than the eastern
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side of the interstate. we've been able to go back and look at our video in the last couple of hours since the tornado moved through at about 5:10 p.m. central time. i didn't hear sirens over there but as we moved into the downtown area towards the college campus, those sirens were loud and proud. i also want to give a shout out to the local fire department. as the tornado was paralleling highway 98 and moving into the city, they were out there blocking traffic to keep folks from driving into the tornado as well as there was police on the interstate. they had the interstate blocked at the time. >> chad myers, john. amazing video we're watching here. clearly from what i'm seeing an f-2 or f-3. what type of damage have you seen? >> the damage i've seen are telephone poles and power lines that are snapped off at the ground as well as when those are blown in on one side of the
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building and blown out the other. there's significant roof damage to the music building here at the university of southern mississippi. as well as a music store across the street that's been leveled. >> this was a long track tornado. you say you tracked it for a long time. how long do you think this was on the ground? how many miles? >> it's impossible to say. the initial radar signature we think the tornado touched down in louisiana and the area just south of marion county, mississippi. that would put it roughly at least 60 miles at a minimum. after the tornado crossed through town, of course, it hit all these residential areas and the roads became impassable and unfortunately we had to call off the chase. but from the radar signature as well as the reports to our east, the tornado tracked well into washington county, alabama in
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the direction of jackson, alabama. >> john, we're actually watching your video. i want to pause for a moment just so we can listen to it as well. just so you get a sense there, john. this is something you do all time, actually. but certainly we don't get to ride along with a storm chaser. >> this is something i've done professionally for the last 12 years. i have a pet peeve when people say it sounds like a freight train. i like to tell the general public, if you want to know what a tornado sounds like, go about 80 miles an hour down the interstate and stick your head out the window. you have that raw wind blowing sound, that rushing sound. i was in mobile for the christmas day tornado.
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this tornado was a lot larger. >> john sibley, thank you so much for sharing those amazing pictures with us as well. chad, what are we looking at now? these are bands of storms that moved through the area. is there still a threat? >> there's slight threat here still of rotation. we have watches in effect right now. the whole area has calmed down significantly and turned into a wind damage event. we'll keep watching it but right now dothan, alabama, through enterprise. that's moving into northwestern florida. we're not worried so much about the storms that line up in one big line, we're worried more about the storms that are all by themselves. this is backing you up about three hours. that's the cell that moved right through hattiesburg. see how it's not part of a line? that red is all by itself? that turns into the big dog, the
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rotating supercell and that's what went right through west hattiesburg and the north part of hattiesburg proper earlier. >> we're looking, chad, at all of these i-report videos coming in and we've heard from john. he's experienced looking at this. so many people are saying this is such a large tornado. is this a textbook tornado or is it just that it feels that way as it's happening? >> we have the f-3 that moved through adaresville, georgia a week, week and a half go. i think this looks an awful lot like it. it looks like what we call a stove pipe tornado, almost completely symmetrical from top to bottom. some of that debris was very large. not just shingles in the sky but maybe like an entire front of a billboard, just sucked up into the sky and then that debris was raining down. oak grove high school almost took a direct hit. we saw an awful lot of damage there.
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we have more on that coming up later in the show. >> one of the guys we talked to said the tornado went right over his house. he talked about his porches being peeled off of his house. serious storm there. now to the massive manhunt in southern california for an excop with a grudge. l.a. police chief christopher beck christopher dorner is a trained aasen. >> the search for dorner continues. we continue to focus on his last known locations in the big bear area but our search continues in and around the areas where we have known targets. thereof are over 50 lapd families that have not only security but surveillance in and around their neighborhoods.
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these 50 lapd families are targets of dorner's and are likely, likely victims. >> cnn's casey wian is in los angeles. casey, there are 50 police families that are now under surveillance and protection. it will be, it appears, until this is resolved. how nervous are they? is this just a precaution and what can you tell bus the grammys having extra security. >> reporter: brianna, as far as the families, this is a significant threat. it's not just a precaution. 50 different families under surveillance, 24-hour protection by police officers, that because of the manifesto from christopher dorner which lays out a vendetta against the los angeles police department and also, remember, three victims of dorner's so far, three people have been killed, all of them with ties to law enforcement. a young woman whose father was a former lapd official, her
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fiance, a security officer at the university of southern california and then a police officer in riverside, california. you mentioned the grammys. ongoing right now. no problems reported. but the los angeles police department said it did increase manpower at the grammys out of an abundance of caution. frankly, the people that are really worried right now are those law enforcement officers who dorner has vowed to target, brianna. >> casey, you're seeing increased security there in l.a. but it seems that in big bear, big bear lake where his car was found torched, that they've scaled back the manhunt. do they think he's not there anymore? >> reporter: they're still looking for him. they have been looking all day long. they had 25 law enforcement personnel on the case today. down from 125 yesterday. they did have a helicopter in the air with body heat imaging equipment. unsuccessful in locating him. they're still looking for him
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but they're going to decide tomorrow whether it's worth continuing the search up in the big bear area, brianna. >> casey, tell us a little bit about this. one of the slain police officer in riverside, his funeral has been set. i imagine this will be an emotional affair. >> reporter: yes. law enforcement officials have kept his name under wraps until today as you mentioned. there will be funeral services on wednesday. that officer's name, michael crain, an 11-year veteran of the riverside police department. he also served two tours with the u.s. marine corps in kuwait. he was 34 years old. he leaves behind a wife and two children, brianna. >> so sad, casey. you've been working this for days. we know you'll bring us details in the coming days as well as everyone wants to see how this is resolved and, of course, that dorner is caught. coming up be we speak with the mayor of hattiesburg, mississippi.
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yeah. oh, my god, i've never seen a tornado before in my life. >> this is hattiesburg, mississippi 5:00 central time. 6:00 eastern this evening. it is the moment an enormous tornado suddenly struck the town and also the campus of the university of southern mississippi. cars flipped over, buildings heavily damaged. but by a stroke of good lug, very good luck, the campus is virtually desserted this weekend
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because the students are off for a school holiday. at least three people were injured by this huge tornado and now joining me on the phone, the mayor of hattiesburg, johnny dupree. mayor, give us a sense of the situation and just how lucky you're hoping you are at this point with no fatalities reported. >> we just went through another major thunderstorm and lost our power we really are blessed because we don't have any fatalities that we know of right now or no major injuries but we've had damages to some major structures around town. >> have you been able to determine where all the potential victims who may have injuries are? are you pretty sure you've identified people or is there a lot more work to be done going house to house? >> we've identified the area where the tornado hit. that was pretty easy to
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identify. you can follow the pattern of the storm pretty well. i guess if there's a good thing about this, it happened on a sunday when most of these structures were vacant. like our red cross building was vacant and schools, some of those are vacant. we're not going to have schools tomorr tomorrow. red cross structure was totally demolished. but we have major damage. again, we've been blessed because we don't have known fatalities right now. >> does that affect the red cross' ability to help people? they're sometimes the first folks who make sure people are out of their homes. >> we are blessed that we're a regional station for red cross where we actually take care of this region. and so we have an evacuation center that houses about 900 people. we'll mobilize with them at our station. so it certainly will affect them
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but i think we have some facilities that they can move to to continue the operations. >> where were you during the storm, mayer? >> well, we had early thunderstorms and we had a building that was down on one of the streets. i was over assessing that and called eoc to find out what was happening with the storm. he told me it was only blocks away from where i was. i tried to get home and just barely made it into my house, just as all the windows and doors blew out of my house. i was crawling to the bathroom, trying to get in. i have firsthand knowledge of what a hurricane can do when you're in the middle of it. >> you made it to an interior bathroom then? >> correct. it's good that our interior bath is downstairs and it's just off the entrance to our back door. you know, it was a harrowing
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situation. we're all blessed. it's just been -- we have people from all around the adjacent counties and cities who have come in. mdot area has come in, mississippi power is bringing in people from the coast in adjacent cities. everybody stepped up to the plate and they're working well together. we're going to get through this. we have another storm that looks like it's headed this way. so we're going to back off a little bit, keep our people safe. >> that's what i was go inge to mention. it looks like you have a day or two ahead of you. what does that mean for restoring power? even folks who weren't hit directly by the tornado, power is out all over hattiesburg. >> yes, we're that we're trying right now is make sure we assess everything. safety is the main thing right now. we have to make sure with the power lines down --
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>> sure. >> that's what the power company is doing. we make sure they're not live so we can get to the debris. you can't mess with the debris until the power has been shut off. the power company is actually doing that. as we do that, we're trying to get the major highways open. they are open right now. we have concerns on some intersections but we're addressing those as we go. what i like to stress, in hattiesburg or close by, if you're listening, please do not get on the streets. >> do not get on the roads. mayor johnny dupree, you are one lucky man. it appears at least so far -- >> i think we're blessed. >> yes. i've been hearing that word a lot today. i hope that continues to be the case as you get your head around what all of of the damage may be and also as those crews work to restore power. thanks for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for helping us out.
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now to california, a man the police call a trained assassin, elusive and vowing to continue killing until his demands are met, the latest on that manhunt for a suspected cop killer. >> communities will not tolerate this reign of terror that has robbed us of the peace of mind that residents of southern california deserve. there is no mass-produced human. every signature is unique, and every fingerprint unrepeatable.
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now back to southern california and the desperate hunt for a suspected cop killer. despite a dragnet from san diego to las vegas and an all-out search of the snowy mountains where his truck was found, christopher dorner has eluded his trackers. the fear is that he will return to l.a. and make good on his vow to wage war against his former colleagues. right now 50 lapd officers and their families are under constant protection and surveillance in case dorner resurfaces. the city of l.a. today offered a
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$1 million reward for the tip that leads to his capture. and park dietz, a forensic psychologist that worked on the d.c. sniper case about a decade ago now. give us a thumbnail sketch of who chris dorner is and how he thinks this will play out. >> well, he's a man who grew up believing that honor was more important than anything. his career as a naval reservist and he did see active duty and an lapd was dedicated, according to him, to trying to serve the community, trying to serve the nation. and he feels that he was treated unjustly in lapd and set off on a mission to rectify that wrong. he has now attached that mission to a broader plan to try to set right what he sees as a history of racism and unfair behavior by
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lapd. and that justifies his doing what he knows to be evil to try to achieve those ends. >> that's how he justifies it? because you're saying he finds honor so important but anyone would say look at what he's done. how is that honorable? >> well, he knows that what he's doing currently isn't in itself honorable. he believes if he can clear his name and cause lapd forever after to behave properly it will have been worth it. >> let me ask you this. the lapd we learned yesterday has now re-opened the case that was closed and led to his dismissal years ago. what affect do you think this will have on whether dorner resurfaces? is there any -- we heard from the lapd. they're trying to say we want to do this for transparency. might this also affect whether he would resurface, might he
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turn himself in or don't you expect that? >> i think he'd only turn himself in if the investigation was already done and cleared his name. that's what matters to him, his reputation, his honor, for people to know he didn't lie. >> you've worked on a number of cases including the d.c. sniper case. do you see similarities here? >> well, actually, i think they're very different. in the case of the d.c. snipers, the entire community was terrified. millions of people felt at risk and changed their daily habits. here in southern california, there are 50 families who have good reason to be afraid and change their habits but most los angeles people and others in southern california are following with interest but not afraid for themselves. because it's year there is a specific target group, though that would include every uniformed officer in the area. >> that's an important distinction, yes, terrifying for
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police officers but maybe not as much for all of the folks in l.a. >> and, of course, with the d.c. snipers no one knew who it was. here everyone knows who's doing it. >> that's true. dr. park dietz, very interesting insight. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. now, stay right there. we have a first person account of today's massive tornado that pounded hattiesburg, mississippi. i'm about to talk to a man who watched that storm hit and is standing in what's left of his home tonight.
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half past the hour now. let's take a look at the headlines. some 4,000 people are stranded on a cruise ship that caught fire and lost power in the gulf of mexico. the carnival triumph is now using emergency generator power. officials say the vessel will be towed to the nearest port in mexico. another cruise ship is on the scene and providing folks on board with food and drinks. 30 people have been crushed to death in a stampede in india. officials say people were crowding a rail station during one of the biggest religious festivals of the year. the stampede happened after someone fell from a platform bridge in alahabad. an estimated 40 million people are there for a hindu pilgrimage
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pilgrimage. there are plenty to do before life is back to normal. this is boston where more than 20 inches of snow piled up during the blizzard. in new york city, transit officials re-opened the long island expressway just this afternoon. more details now on that powerful tornado that touched down in southern mississippi this evening. joining us now by phone is jobe bass, a geography professor at the university of southern mississippi. his home and cars were damaged by the tornado. you told me earlier that the porches were literally peeled from houses in hattiesburg, including yours. tell me what you did when the storm hit. >> well, i was trying to watch it because i really wanted to see it but i realized it was going to be bad so i went inside and got into a small closet and huddled and waited it out. >> you were in an interior closet obviously so you were on the inside of your house. >> right.
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>> you had kpaen ocompanions in. tell me about that. >> me and my dogs. i found the cat just in time. we were huddled in there. >> how many dogs, two? >> i have two dogs. >> two dogs and a cat and professor bass all huddled in a closet. you came out, we talked shortly after you had come out of your house. you were amazingly, remarkably calm. i'm wondering at this point have you had a chance to venture out your neighborhood and see the other damage around hattiesburg? >> no, unfortunately not. it got dark right after we assessed everything and had time to get the generator out and get that stuff set up. by then it was dark. i just decided to wait. the roof's leaking because of the trees on the house. been kind of dealing with that a little bit. it's still raining some. just kind of hanging out here and dealing with the leaking roof and playing the guitar. >> oh, my goodness. it's amazing what composure you are exhibiting in the aftermath
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of this, i have to tell you this. you're kind of -- >> like i said, catch me in a couple of days. >> yes. i think i will not be surpriseded if that is the case. you're looking athe this as hunkering down. i know you're expecting probably some more leaking, your roof leaking some more because you'll be expecting rain over the next couple of days. how are your neighbors handling this? >> well, some of the neighbors were hit much worse than i was. a lot of them have gone to stay with relatives and friends. everyone was calm, everyone was happy to be unhurt. as far as i know, none of my neighbors were hurt. >> what did you attribute that to? this is sort of -- it seems in a way that hattiesburg got really lucky here. the high school was hit but it was a sunday afternoon. the college was hit but the students -- the college that you work at, but the students were away on this break.
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and it appears so far that we're talking minor injuries. what do you attribute that to? was it that people had enough time, they had enough warning? >> oh, yeah, a lot of it is luck and a lot of it is really good warning systems that we have in place right now. everyone was aware of this and everyone had time to take cover. there were sirens all afternoon in town when there were warnings. these warning systems do a good job and everyone did the proper thing, for the most part, as far as i know, as far as getting under tables, closets, doorways, things like that. >> professor bass we're so happy to know you came through this unscathed as long as your dogs and cats. thanks for talking to us tonight. >> all right. appreciate it. coming up, synthetic marijuana. it is cheap. it is easy to find.
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and it's often advertised as a legal alternative to pot. but its side effects may be lethal. next you'll meet a family who lost their son to this dangerous drug.
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deadly and in demand. fake pot sold in stores under names like spice or k2. it's not marge math. it's a handful of herbs sprayed with chemicals. teenagers use it as a cheap high. it can be deadly, though. this was chase burnett, he was one of the teenagers who smoked it. he was found dead in his family's home. his parents shared their tragic story with me last night. listen closely to the advice chase's mother has for all of us. >> what killed chase was this synthetic poisoning, the marijuana, the chemicals sprayed on to the leaves shut his lungs down. he suffered a violent death. he asphyxiated and suffocated and he obviously became unconscious and i found him in the hot tub that sunday morning, march 4th. >> something that was legal, allegedly that he had purchased.
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did you have a sense of talking to some of his friends that he had any sense of the dangers of this? >> oh, no. none of the kids did. especially chase. he loved life too much. he would have never done anything that would have harmed himself knowing how 67 grief he'd put his family and friends through. never. >> they just were being experimental as some teens are. that's the impression you got? >> uh-huh. >> you're here because this has become a mission, a mission for you, right, to try to make sure that other kids don't follow in chase's footsteps. why is this so important to you? >> well, for us just the heartache. your heart is just ripped in two. we don't want this pain to affect other families. it's a senseless -- it's a senseless death. a child, teenager walk into the store thinking it's legal, not going to hurt them. they purchase something that should never be sold.
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we just don't want the pain of what we're going through to affect other families. we have -- we have peace and strength from god and we have that peace in our hearts and we have the joy because we do know our son is where he will live forever. every day it will be with us for the rest of our lives that we don't get him back. >> what can you say to other parents so they aren't in your shoes, so they don't lose a child with so much promise? >> that is the reason we're here. the reason from the moment that our son we knew that he passed away that morning when the paramedics came, and covered him up and told us that he had passed away, we had a sense of peace about us, both of us, because we know where his soul was as well as yvette and i, we know that we'll see him again. we have that heavenly hope. but when they said he was passed i instinctively told myself,
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this is wrong, wrong, wrong. you cannot walk into a convenience store in this country as a teenager or young adult or an adult, purchase a product, obviously to get high, and then your lungs shut down and you suffocate. it is wrong in a pure form. it's very frustrating as a parent to know that this is being sold throughout the country. it's not only sold in convenience stores. it's sold in head shops, adult novelty shops and various other avenues to sell the product. but it is a deadly product. >> part of the problem is there's a loophole where it's sold legally. so knowing that, you can get to the point where it's not sold, what can you tell parents to be -- part of it's awareness, i'm sure. also, what do they need to talk to their kids about so they understand the risks? you said chase didn't. >> well, it's talking to your
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children, your grandchildren, talking to them saying have you heard about this stuff? do you understand? and think about the choices. get online with them. as parents, as adults we can understand it. but the kids have to understand it in their hearts. it can till you. children think they're invincible. teenagers think it can't happen to us. it happened to us. our son made a mistake. he made a bad choice, never ever knowing that this would take his life. so i just ask parents and grandparents, talk about this stuff. don't shovel it under the rug. talk to the kids. make sure the kids talk to each other. do what's right. >> the burnetts are on a mission to make sure other kids don't do what chase did. an historic building wrecked just as it reached a huge milestone. that's just part of the dath from that powerful tornado that ripped through mississippi this evening. our josh levs is just ahead with
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your i-reports.
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wow. these are really good. you act surprised.
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aah! aah! practice makes perfect. announcer: you don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. there are thousands of teens in foster care who don't need perfection, they need you. tonight we are tracking a weather emergency, major damage and casualties in southern mississippi. this is the city of hattiesburg where people rode out a direct tornado hit. they say the city was suddenly a flurry of debris. emergency sirens and then darkness when the power lines fell down. our josh levs has been monitoring facebook, twitter and
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i-reports for pictures of the storm. what have you got, josh? >> this is an i-report that's come to us from paul wells. he went driving to the hattiesburg campus of the university of southern mississippi. you are able to see in this powerful video some of these really stricken areas. i'll let this go for 20, 30 seconds so you can see where it brings you here. i want to remine you what we've been telling you. the campus was largely empty. we do have information that there were four buildings that were damaged. take a look at that building right there. look at that. you can just see the power of the tornado there. now, since i have this going, i want to show you something here. this right here is a really important building. it's the ogletree house, the alumni house, very well known. it was put up in 1912. it's historic. now look at that building. it was completely wrecked, at least largely wrecked. this is from paul wells.
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we have i-reporters throughout the region that have safely been able to take video today. let's listen to this one for a moment. >> oh, my god! >> that's you're watching it travel not too far away. the next one, we have a video from eddie. he looked out from where he lives. he felt safe taking this because it was not coming toward him. it was moving away from him. these videos, i tell you, folks, it shows you how close and powerful these are. one more from josh sanford, amazing video that are coming in. we do have word i was seeing on twitter, from governor bryant declaring a state of emergency, four counties, forest, lamar, and marion. >> amazing images, josh.
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thank you for bringing those to us. >> absolutely. a woman charged with threatening to assassinate george w. bush still cleared a gun background check. how did that happen? next. lat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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tuesday president obama lays out his priorities for his new term, tackling gun violence is expected to be front and center. but consider this, just last week, a 28-year-old woman walked up to a charleston, south carolina school with a gun. and according to "the new york times" she tried to shoot two faculty members. the only thing that stopped her, she failed to unlock the gun. here's what makes you really scratch your head about this. she had a history of mental illness. alice bolland had been charged in 2005 with threatening to assassinate president george w. bush and she still cleared a background check to buy the gun. tom dietz is a former dekalb county, georgia police officer. you're the owner of sharp
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shooters usa, a gun shop, a shooting range and training facility. how did she manage to legally purchase a weapon? >> well, the first issue was, when she went to the store she had to complete a federal form called the 4473. when you complete that form, the seller or the firearms retailer looks at the identification, runs down through the questions to make sure that they're answered appropriately and then calls the fbi, the nics operation center. and the nics center makes the determination whether or not that person is prohibited from buying a firearm. >> she was asked do you have a mental health issue and she said no. she should have said yes. >> when she did do that she committed a felony. what i find unusual is since the court found her not guilty by reason of insanity, that's a reason that the prosecution, the
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court, should have forwarded that information to the fbi and that would have prohibited her from purchasing a firearm. at the same time, family members and mental health care professionals can also take the step they can go to petition the court to have somebody adjudicated mentally defective. it's incumbent upon parents, loved ones to do that. >> they were well aware of this individual that she had this history. is this sort of like exhibit a for why this information needs to be better put together and reported and shared between agencies? >> the mental health part of the nics system does need to be improved drastically. the system does an excellent job in identifying people who are criminally prohibited whether they're convicted felon or convicted of domestic violence or if they're under indictment. the system does a good job there. this is an example where i can't believe this fell through the
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cracks. i mean, particularly since she had threatened the president of the united states. >> the former president of the united states. >> and with that adjudication of not guilty by reason of insanity, that should have gone to the nics system, the way i understand it. >> sure. >> to have -- and that would have prohibited her from purchasing a firearm. >> it's certainly unbelievable. it does seem to back up that assertion that this needs to be -- the reporting needs to certainly be better. >> it can always be improved. >> sure. tom dietz, really appreciate it. thanks for breaking this down for us. >> thank you. it's les miserables taking a turn here, we'll show you the parody video that's gone viral.
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